Why CBN directs banks to demand customers’ social media handles for account opening

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines requiring banks to collect and verify social media handles of their customers at the point of opening new bank accounts.

This, the CBN said is part of their know your customer (KYC) procedures.

The apex bank issued the directive in its recently gazetted legislation titled ‘Customer Due Diligence Regulations 2023’.

The bank said the objective of the regulation is to prevent financial crimes and terrorism while boosting the precision and thoroughness of customer identification.

According to the CBN, financial institutions will be required to identify their customers, regardless of whether they are permanent or occasional clients.

Under the new regulation, the apex bank listed the information banks must obtain from customers.

The CBN said: “For individuals — legal name and any other names used (such as maiden name), permanent address (full physical address), residential address (where the customer can be located), telephone number, e-mail address, and social media handle; date and place of birth, bank verification number; tax identification number; nationality; occupation; public position held; and name of employer.”
“An official personal identification number or other unique identifier contained in an unexpired document issued by a government agency, that bears a name, photograph and signature of the customer such as a passport, national identification card, residence permit, social security records or drivers’ license.

“Type of account and nature of the banking relationship, and signature, and politically exposed persons (PEPs) status.”

The CBN said the regulation intends to provide additional customer due diligence measures for financial institutions to further their compliance with provisions of relevant legislations.